Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

Maryland Has A Plan To Turn Chicken Poop Into Energy

Maryland is proposing to build a $200 million energy plant on the state's Eastern Shore. The plant would take Maryland's copious amount of chicken manure and convert it into energy, which could be used to meet the state's renewable energy mandate. [ThinkProgress]

US Ports Modernize While Water Supply and Quality Deteriorate

In preparation for the expanded Panama Canal and the prospect of gigantic cargo ships, US coastal cities have entered a frenzy of deepwater port infrastructure refinement complete with federal funding. All the while, water infrastructure funding lags and our water quality (and quantity) deteriorates. Water infrastructure creates jobs and is the foundation of successful commerce, yet the appeal of new ports seems to blind public officials. [Circle of Blue]

Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says

The world spends $400 billion on food waste a year, and that number is expected to rise by 50 percent over the next fifteen years alone. Not only are we facing a social dilemma as 870 million people go hungry globally, but production and disposal of wasted food harms the environment and consumes large quantities of water, energy and other resources. [New York Times]

McDonald's USA to Phase Out Human Antibiotics From Chicken Supply

McDonald's announced plans to phase out chicken treated with antibiotics that are used for human healthcare over the next two years. The move comes in response to US consumer pressure, so only US restaurants will make the change. As the biggest chain restaurant in the world, McDonald's could have a major influence on the chicken industry's approach to antibiotics.

Is Grass-fed Beef Really Better for You, the Animal and the Planet?

In short, grass-fed beef trumps conventional beef. Grass-fed beef comes with real health benefits for consumers, while conventional beef is associated with high usage of antibiotics and hormones. What's more, the environmental and social costs of a poorly managed CAFO are much greater than those of any poorly managed grass-fed farm. This Washington Post article fails to address these points.

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